The screenwriter furrowed her brow as she read the end-of-year campaign finance reports from The Emo Senator's state and federal races. Could it be as she feared? Had the Belle of Waseca County, Mike Parry, R-ALEC, suffered yet another bout of his famous amnesia?
The malady strikes our hero so often when it comes to money and holding office. Just last year, he defended taking full per diem because he had no other income during the session--forgetting that he owns and operates a Godfather's Pizza in sunny Waseca, Minnesota.
What office did Mike Parry campaign for once he declared himself a candidate for Congress? Judging by his congressional committee's spending, he didn't put out for mileage to drive around the sprawling First Congressional District, which extends across southern Minnesota from Wisconsin to South Dakota.
Other congressional campaigns in Minnesota's rural areas, like Republican Lee Byberg's race against Blue Dog Collin Peterson in the Seventh, are ponying up for gas. Several staffers are reimbursed for gas in incumbent Tim Walz's report.
How does our hero travel these distances without spending money on gas? Astro-projection? Teleportation? A sprinkle of former senator Dick Day's famous foo-foo dust? A sudden burst of charity on the part of campaign volunteer Ben Golnik, who accompanied him on a two-day from Winona to Worthington?
The screenwriter doesn't know, but did find that in Mike Parry's other campaign, he was filling up at local gas stations quite regularly. There's the state campaign finance reporting of gas purchases: $48.50 on November 15; $73 on November 18; $71 on November 25th, $48.65 on December 2; $64.06 (including a car wash) on December 12; $68 on December 16.
For that much gas, Mike Parry must have doorknocked much of his district for the state senate campaign in November and December.
Indeed, the state report shows a great devotion to the state bid. Mike Parry purchased and activated a phone on September 3--the first phone for the state level campaign in 2011--and began paying Verizon for phone service on October 7, with a charge of $123.52, followed by payments in November of $153.44 and December of $148.03. There are no phone or cell expenses in the Congressional campaign report to the FEC.
Parry also purchased other equipment for the senate campaign. On November 28, he visited the Owatonna Office Max and purchased card scan equipment for $182.94. Radio Shack supplied a power strip and USB cable on October 1 for $34.18 and there's the Ipad purchased a few days later from the Apple Store in Bloomington for $688.32, a better way to tweet spiteful remarks about the staff at the governor's residence perhaps--though maybe not Walz.
Then there's the dedication of Senator Parry's state campaign workers, who drove all the way to The Cities (or was it Duluth?) to attend a campaign meeting on October 6 at Pizza Luce, where they ordered $76.03 worth of food and beverages. Persumably, they forgot--like Parry himself back in early summer--that The Belle of Waseca County owns a Godfather's Pizza. Certainly, it's more forgettable fare than Pizza Luce.
Another indication that Parry may be carrying on a state senate campaign: using that campaign committee's dollars--reported as campaign expenses--for 2012 dues and county fair registrations. There's the $185 going toward 2012 dues for the Faribault Chamber of Commerce, for instance.
And residents of Steele County can look forward Mike Parry's appearance at the Free Fair as a state senate candidate, since the state-level committee shelled out early for a $500 SCFF sponsorship on November 16, 2011. (All earlier fair sponsorships had been paid at the time of the fair, held each year in August).
Forgetful as our hero is, certainly he'd never forget that state campaign funds can't be spent on federal campaigns.
Indeed, Emo Senator was so intent on campaigning for the state senate, that he closed the year with only $42.95 in his committee's account. Now that he's back on track for campaigning for congress--having only spent $3402.14 last year, while banking $29,182.86--we'll no doubt see more spending from that account. Tune in again!
Or maybe it will be more foo-foo dust renewable energy used for mileage, since the Emo Senator now recalls only congressional campaign stops since October, according to the Owatonna People's Press:
Parry, a Waseca Republican whose district includes all of Steele County, announced in October he was running for the Republican nomination. Since then, he has scheduled many meet and greet events at the crack of dawn.
“Part of the reason is that I’m a seated (state) senator and so I’m working all day long up at the Capitol,” Parry said. “We’re taking Saturdays and Sundays and we are doing meet and greets all over the First District.
Photoshop image: the Emo Senator, by Tild.